Jaywalkers beware!

(Image from Boston.com/The Boston Globe)

First it was Windcrest.  Now it seems that SAPD is also cracking down on jaywalkers.

Earlier this year, reports surfaced that Windcrest police were ticketing Rackspace employees who were on their way to or from lunch at one of the restaurants across Walzem Road from Rackspace’s headquarters at the old Windsor Park Mall, known affectionately as “The Castle”.

Now, there are several anecdotal reports of this happening in San Antonio itself, first at a school, now at some other location (it might even be the airport based on the person’s description of the sign, which I have only seen at the airport.)

So this begs the question, what are the state and local laws regarding jaywalking?  more »

8 Feb 2010, 2:18pm
Roads Safety:
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Comments Off on Pedestrian scramble update

Pedestrian scramble update

If you read my previous post about pedestrian scrambles, you know that it’s not the newest dance craze sweeping the nation, but rather an experiment by the City of San Antonio at improving vehicular and pedestrian traffic downtown by installing “exclusive pedestrian phases” at more than a dozen intersections.  I was back downtown again today for a meeting with some colleagues and discovered two more intersections with the new setup that I missed last time: Navarro at Crocket and Navarro at College.  Also, all of the locations along Commerce, Market, and Dolorosa that had not been activated last time were now online.  Alas, though, still none at Convention Plaza. 

While walking to lunch with my colleagues, we stopped for a “don’t walk” signal at one of the scramble intersections.  One of them noticed that the signal for vehiclular traffic headed our direction was green but that we had a “don’t walk” signal and instinctively realized that something was amiss.  Ah, she must not have read my blog!  (Doesn’t everybody?)  After I explained what was afoot (pun completely intended), she commented that she was really happy with the new configuration and couldn’t wait to cross diagonally– it was like being able to finally do something that had long been verboten.

While out and about, I noticed many other people taking advantage of the diagonal crossing ability.  I did see a couple of instances, though, where people were crossing against the light and obstructing turning vehicles, thus thwarting the intent of the project.  Over time, I’m sure people will understand and adjust to the changes.

Are you ready to do the pedestrian scramble?

Scramble crossing signalIf you’ve been downtown lately, you might have noticed several intersections where pedestrians can cross in all directions (including diagonally) at once, a la the famous Shibuya crossing in Tokyo.  The City of San Antonio is installing these crossings, known colloquially as “pedestrian scrambles” or “Barnes Dances” (or more boringly by their technical name of “exclusive pedestrian phasing”), as an experiment to see if they improve both pedestrian and vehicular traffic downtown.  During a recent jaunt downtown, I counted 14 intersections outfitted with the equipment for pedestrian scrambles (that being a third pedestrian crossing signal on each corner oriented diagonally across the intersection), with half of them actually in service.

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